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New Guidance on Spring Break Travel

March 3, 2020
To: 
All Parents and Guardians
From: 
Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am writing to make you aware of an important message sent today to all students as well as faculty and staff. In advance of Spring Break, the University is urging everyone in the community not to travel internationally or to areas of the U.S. affected by the coronavirus. This guidance is based on the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC maintains a Travel Information website with up-to-date details.

We recognize Spring Break has traditionally been a time when many students traveled on their own or with independent student groups. Given the concerns about the spread of coronavirus both abroad and in the United States, the University has asked student groups to reconsider their plans, but if they decide to proceed, we are asking them to notify us of those plans.

We are grateful for your partnership during this evolving situation. If a member of my staff or I can be of assistance to your student or you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer


Dear members of the UVA community:

Since our last University-wide communication on February 28, the number of national coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continues to rise. While we are not aware of any cases in Virginia, the safety of the UVA and Charlottesville communities is our primary concern. I write to share with you the proactive steps we are taking. Note that this guidance is subject to change as the situation is rapidly evolving. You can find updates and resources on the University’s website.

Spring Break Study Abroad

  • The University has canceled all outbound study abroad programs scheduled over spring break. We notified affected faculty program directors and students today. Schools will work directly with students to arrange for completion of coursework through alternative means.
  • Our decision on spring break trips was guided by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) March 1st recommendation that Universities should reconsider study abroad travel. It is in everyone’s best interest that students avoid unnecessary travel through crowded transportation hubs for short visits to uncertain environments before they return to Grounds. We feel this is the best decision to protect our students and our local community where students will return after their travel.
  • We are in close, regular communication with those students who are currently abroad on exchange and other programs, regarding how to monitor and assess their current situations based on conditions in the country they are visiting.

Travel Guidance

  • The CDC maintains a Travel Information website related to COVID-19, and specifically recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to countries at Warning Level 3. Note that these ratings can change rapidly.
  • We urge faculty, staff, and students who have personal or professional plans to travel either internationally or to affected areas in the U.S. to reconsider their travel. In doing so, we ask each of you to take into account the possibility of travel delays, future quarantines, or prolonged self-isolation when returning from travel to the UVA and Charlottesville communities.
  • If you have travel insurance, you should closely review your plan to assure it does not exclude pandemics in the case of need for medical evacuation.
  • We strongly encourage faculty and staff to share any travel plans with your department chair, dean, or manager in order to facilitate University assistance if the need arises.
  • We strongly urge student organizations (CIOs) to share any travel plans with the Office of the Dean of Students.

The decisions we are making rely heavily on the guidance we are receiving from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health and are intended to protect the health and welfare of our faculty, staff, students, and local community. We recognize the uncertainty this global health issue is creating and are committed to keep you informed and up to date as this situation evolves. You may find updates and current information on the University’s website and FAQ.

Sincerely,

Liz Magill, Provost
University of Virginia